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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I fish with spinning reels, usually buy shrimp, or use greenies or whatever live bait I can catch, but sometimes (mostly) i suck at finding bait. So I want to build up my arsenal of lures for snook and redfish. Fish estero bay, pine island, etc.....you guys have any recommendations, what do you keep in your tackle? I go to bass pro and get the feeling they're just selling product
 

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DOA BaitBusters for snook (although reds like 'em, too). Shallow-runners if skipping around mangroves, Deep-runner version for distance and open water. Black/silver, olive/pearl and white/red head have all produced big snook for me.

For reds specifically, my go-to is an Aqua Dream (or Capt. Mike's) weedless 3/8-ounce spoon. Gold is universal, but chartreuse or watermelon is good for clear water, pink for tannin-stained. I add a ball-bearing swivel to the lure's OEM split ring to eliminate line twist.
 

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Weedless (4-5") jerkbait on a 1/8 oz Mustad grip pin hook. With the weight on the hook, you can fish it slow on the bottom or up in water water column. With it being weedless, you can put it near or through any structure (mangroves, docks, grass, etc.).
 

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I fish estero bay frequently and have had the best luck/most action on green and silver mirrodine mirrolures. I also only fish fly/artificial. I would recommend not getting discouraged if your tackle doesnt work for the fish in the bay since they get a ridiculous amount of pressure and are hard to come by.
 

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I've caught all of my biggest snook on jerkbaits rigged in various ways. I lost what would have far and away been a personal best on a Mirrodine. I'm just glad she spit the bait because I had no hope of landing her on the tackle I was using.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You guys are awesome, thanks, can't wait to go shopping! Do any of you modify or remove the treble hooks on any of your topwaters, and if so, what do you replace them with?
 

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Just moved my fishing adventures from land based to skiff. Fished Estero bay (or tried) a week ago and was skunked. Any suggestions of areas to try?
Thanks
Open up google maps and pick a couple spots to try each trip. Pretty much all the guys on here worked to find their spots so good luck getting much more than a generic location to fish.
 

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I would focus more on the tides, weather, water conditions, etc. These are more important IMO. Now there are times when some baits out perform others for sure, but if the fish are not hungry or in the areas you fish it won’t matter what you throw. Nevertheless, all of the above baits are pretty much the staples of the saltwater game.

Edit: My go to lure is usually a soft plastic jerk bait rigged weedless on a weighted hook. Color usually white or chicken on a chain (or whatever else this color is called).
 

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Another good tip I’ve found to be mostly true is if the water looks dead with no visible bait activity, birds, etc.. it usually isn’t productive. Now I’ve also had times where I couldn’t buy a strike in areas that had lots of activity, so it’s not always the case.
 

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Here's a different approach (although all the lures listed above will do just fine in the right circumstances...) that I long ago learned works very well for most of the beginners I fish a bit to the south of you (the Everglades coast and interior waters from Flamingo to Chokoloskee...). I set them up with either a bucktail tipped with a tiny bit of shrimp (that bit no bigger than the fingernail on your little finger) or a barbed leadhead with a Gulp tail (99% of the time that tail is either the 4" mullet , basically a curly tail - in pearl white, or a 3" shrimp in New Penny color).

Here's how I rig them - the line on each reel is doubled for about 24" then a short trace of 30 or 40lb fluoro is connected to the doubled line -about another 24" worth (and as the end of the leader gets frayed I cut it back a bit at a time - when the leader is less than 12"... it's replaced...

The size of bucktail or leadhead changes with the depth you're fishing - for less than 4 feet of water it's an 1/8oz head, 4 to 8 feet of water - 1/4 oz head, more than 8 feet of water (or in a strong current...) 3/8 oz...

Here's a pic or two of what I'm talking about...

My basic 1/4 oz backcountry bucktail - An all white head and tail with a bright red collar is the one we use the most.

These bonefish skimmers in 1/5 oz (the only size available) work well when the fish are in such shallow waters that they stick up their tails and wave at you....


These are barbed leadheads for Gulp (or plastic) tails. They come in every color you can imagine - but most of my orders are for white, fl. yellow, fl. pink, and red. The ones shown are the 1/4 oz size - note the sticky sharp black nickel hooks...


Just finished 100 of these in this color today - the heads are powder coated and baked for hardness...

The way we fish them is pretty simple. I want my angler's to have their rod tips up and them reeling -just fast enough to keep from snagging - with an occasional twitch on the retrieve. If there's any current I have them working across it - if at all possible.... When we're working redfish around structure or off of points (particularly when the water is a bit disturbed I simply add a popping cork above the jig (about two feet or a bit more...) then have them work the cork slowly - like it was topwater lure - making some noise now and then....

Works like a charm - day in and day out... Anyone wanting more info with color pics - send me a PM... Every size leadhead is exactly $1, each bucktail $3 (mostly...).
 
G

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Here's a different approach (although all the lures listed above will do just fine in the right circumstances...) that I long ago learned works very well for most of the beginners I fish a bit to the south of you (the Everglades coast and interior waters from Flamingo to Chokoloskee...). I set them up with either a bucktail tipped with a tiny bit of shrimp (that bit no bigger than the fingernail on your little finger) or a barbed leadhead with a Gulp tail (99% of the time that tail is either the 4" mullet , basically a curly tail - in pearl white, or a 3" shrimp in New Penny color).

Here's how I rig them - the line on each reel is doubled for about 24" then a short trace of 30 or 40lb fluoro is connected to the doubled line -about another 24" worth (and as the end of the leader gets frayed I cut it back a bit at a time - when the leader is less than 12"... it's replaced...

The size of bucktail or leadhead changes with the depth you're fishing - for less than 4 feet of water it's an 1/8oz head, 4 to 8 feet of water - 1/4 oz head, more than 8 feet of water (or in a strong current...) 3/8 oz...

Here's a pic or two of what I'm talking about...

My basic 1/4 oz backcountry bucktail - An all white head and tail with a bright red collar is the one we use the most.

These bonefish skimmers in 1/5 oz (the only size available) work well when the fish are in such shallow waters that they stick up their tails and wave at you....


These are barbed leadheads for Gulp (or plastic) tails. They come in every color you can imagine - but most of my orders are for white, fl. yellow, fl. pink, and red. The ones shown are the 1/4 oz size - note the sticky sharp black nickel hooks...


Just finished 100 of these in this color today - the heads are powder coated and baked for hardness...

The way we fish them is pretty simple. I want my angler's to have their rod tips up and them reeling -just fast enough to keep from snagging - with an occasional twitch on the retrieve. If there's any current I have them working across it - if at all possible.... When we're working redfish around structure or off of points (particularly when the water is a bit disturbed I simply add a popping cork above the jig (about two feet or a bit more...) then have them work the cork slowly - like it was topwater lure - making some noise now and then....

Works like a charm - day in and day out... Anyone wanting more info with color pics - send me a PM... Every size leadhead is exactly $1, each bucktail $3 (mostly...).
As always Capt., great info!
 
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